3 NFL Teams That Could Be Surprisingly Bad In 2024 Season

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Jamie Germano / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 2024 NFL campaign is inching closer and closer, and by this point, we have a very good idea of how teams are going to look when the season begins.

Sure, a lot of questions will be left unanswered until the first few weeks of the regular season, but for the most part, we know which teams will likely be contenders and which, well, won’t.

But are there any teams that could surprise people in a negative way in 2024?

There are some clubs being heralded as legitimate contenders as we close in on training camp, but once we see them in action come September, we may change our minds.

Here are three teams that could be surprisingly bad this coming season.

Buffalo Bills

For some reason, people really like the Bills heading into 2024.

Just about everyone likes them to win their fifth straight AFC East division title, and DraftKings has them tied for the fourth-best Super Bowl odds.

My question is, why?

Did everyone miss the offseason when Buffalo lost a plethora of key pieces on both sides of the ball that were all major contributors to the Bills in 2023, and some for several years?

Buffalo subtracted its top two wide receivers in Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis. It also saw a mass exodus of players on the defensive side of the ball. Some were released, and others departed via free agency.

Yes, the Bills still have Josh Allen, but it’s getting to a point where Allen is becoming somewhat overrated. He isn’t Tom Brady. He isn’t Aaron Rodgers. Heck, he isn’t Russell Wilson (prime Wilson, I mean).

Allen threw 18 interceptions and committed 22 turnovers last season. He finished second in the league in both categories, which is a rather dubious distinction.

He is also maddeningly inconsistent, and we really don’t know what the 28-year-old will look like without Diggs at his disposal.

The Bills don’t have a clear No. 1 receiver, their defense is notably weaker and there are absolutely questions surrounding head coach Sean McDermott.

Perhaps Allen will have a huge year and Buffalo will win the division once again, but I’m having a lot of trouble putting a saddle on this ballclub.

Los Angeles Chargers

This one is even more puzzling than the Bills to me.

The Chargers went 5-12 last season and lost pretty much all of their top weapons offensively, and somehow, they are being labeled a Super Bowl dark horse by some people just because they hired Jim Harbaugh?

I guess the general public is also forgetting that Los Angeles finished 28th in defense in 2023 and wasn’t really able to address the issue in free agency due to massive financial constraints.

Harbaugh may be a genius. He definitely did a great job with the San Francisco 49ers over a decade ago, and he just coached the University of Michigan to a national championship. But I don’t understand the logic behind him turning this rather barren roster (particularly offensively) into a championship contender.

Like the Bills, the Chargers do not have a No. 1 receiver. Their offensive line is also nothing more than average, although they are obviously hoping first-round draft pick Joe Alt can help with that.

Let’s just put this into perspective: Los Angeles lost Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler and Gerald Everett over the last several months.

Justin Herbert better hope that Quentin Johnston breaks out or that Ladd McConkey has a brilliant rookie campaign. If not, it could be the toughest year of his career.

Pittsburgh Steelers

I actually liked the Steelers’ decision to sign the aforementioned Wilson. What I didn’t like was them proceeding to trade wide receiver Diontae Johnson shortly thereafter and failing to adequately replace him.

Beyond George Pickens, Pittsburgh has no proven options at the position. Yes, the team drafted Roman Wilson, but he is a third-round pick. Calvin Austin and Van Jefferson do not exactly inspire much confidence, either.

Everyone keeps assuming that the Steelers are going to make a blockbuster move to acquire Brandon Aiyuk, but that seems like more of a pipe dream than anything else. The San Francisco 49ers don’t appear to have any intention of trading Aiyuk, and swinging huge trades for big-name receivers is just not Pittsburgh’s modus operandi, anyway.

Russ just had a miserable two-year stretch in Denver, and now, he is entering a situation where the Steelers have left him out to dry by leaving him with very limited options in the aerial attack.

This isn’t the Seattle Seahawks version of Wilson. This is a 35-year-old, declining signal-caller that was just cut in spite of having a $245 million contract. He needs all the help he can get, and Pittsburgh hasn’t exactly done a great job giving it to him.

Plus, for all the talk about how much pride the Steelers take in defense, they ranked 21st in that category last season. It wasn’t like they were good in any one area, either, as they finished 19th in run defense and 17th in defending the pass.

Throw in the fact that the Steelers play in the rugged AFC North, and the opportunity is there for them to have their first losing campaign in over two decades.

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